Tana Broadway Mrs. Thomas EN 2000 Intro to Literature March 14, 2013 The Theme of Susan Minot’s “Lust” The theme of Susan Minot’s story “Lust” illustrates that in a space where love should be, there is emptiness and overwhelming sadness. Even though the girl realizes that happiness doesn’t come from sexual relationships, she continues to have sex with the boys anyway. Minot’s protagonists, mostly women, are in search of love. Romantic love is her aim. The young girl in this short story tries to fulfill that hole by having sex with multiple boys, in hopes of them caring and loving her.
Minot was born in Massachusetts. Minot got her education at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. She found love, and then was married six weeks after they meet and are now separated. So she is also looking for someone to love. At the beginning of the story she is just experimenting with sex, as the story goes on she starts not remembering the boys names and progresses into an even deeper sadness and emptiness. To begin with, Susan Minot portrays the girl in the story as someone trying to find herself, but doesn’t know how.
The boys show her attention that makes her feel good and that feeling only last for the time she is with them. This becomes a cycle with many boys. She gets so involved with boys that she put them before her own interests, as stated in the story,” I could do some things well. Some things I was good at, like math or painting or even sports, but the second a boy put his arm around me, I forgot about wanting to do anything else, which I felt like a relief at first until it became like sinking into muck. (Minot 230). Her sexual appetite left her feeling empty inside. She wondered if there was something wrong with her. When a guy would ask her to sleep with them, instead of saying no, she would do it because she didn’t have anything else to say. The girl would keep having sex just to please the guy. In the story, she says, “So I’d go because I couldn’t think of something to say back that wouldn’t be obvious, and if you go out with them, you sort of have to do something. ”(Minot 231)
As stated in Minot’s biography, in “Lust”, the characters are wistful; they can’t quite understand what it is they stand to gain from their sexual relationships, even though they need them like bodies need water. Women pursue and are pursued by men in a fast- whirling social environment that includes cocaine-snorting and glamorous careers in film and journalism. Minot’s sure rhythms capture the hard-boiled verities of this party life. Susan Minot grew up in Manchester, Mass. , was in college when her mother was killed in an automobile accident.
She kept a journal from the age of 13, and after graduating from Brown, moved to New York in 1980 so she could write. She waitressed while completing her master’s of fine arts degree at Columbia University’s Writing Division. WORK CITED McCLURG, JOCELYN, AND Book E. Courant. “A Leap from Love and Lust to World of Repressed Love Susan Minot’s Variations on Theme of Love. “Hartford Courant: 0. Proquest. Nov 04 1992. Web. 11 Mar. 2013 Minot, Susan. “Lust” Literature to Go. Ed. Michael Meyer. Boston: Bedford/ St. Martin’s, 2011. 229-236. Print. “Susan (Anderson) Minot Biography. ” – Love, York, Lust, and Walter. N. p. , n. d. Web. 21 Mar. 2013.